After Action Report 2/1/2014
Work Party / Business Meeting
January 25th, 2014
Rats Nest – Chehalis, Wa.
Ahoy Brother Rats-
The NW Chapter held ourfirst Business Meeting for 2014 and showed off the “Big Surprise” .
The day begins with extreme foggy condition and 39 Deg. Most of the Rats were in attendance for breakfast at 0800 ‘Kit Carson Restaurant’, Exit 76 and I-5. We had a few giggles and welcomed each other upon arrivals. Always a good day to see my brothers.
Basic Coverage of our day’s events:
- 0900- Fourteen (14) of our brothers from far and wide assembled at the nest to begin the day and see the newest addition to the Gamewardens Association, a 5 ton Tractor Truck. Please read the following portions of a letter from Stephen Morrison to Bob Brower who made a formal request to the National President Heinz Hickethier for a vote of the National Board who accepted the request by vote along with the NW Board the gift.
“Since acquiring the Op Boat in 2005 we have been using a combination of towing resources to move the boat to the many venues we participate in. Early on we could count on the Navy, both active duty and reserve to assist us in boat transport. With the loss of that support as a result of budgetary constraints we requested the services of a couple members with trucks powerful enough to safely make the tow and a few others who support our work who are not members. They have always graciously answered the call when requested and they were available. Unfortunately this has taken no small advantage of these men and their families to say nothing of increasing the wear and tear on their vehicles.”Stephen Morrison and Larry Bissonnette had been looking for a vehicle that could perform the task, was in excellent condition and was not too expensive that could be acquired for use as a tow vehicle. At the DRMO resale compound at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington, an appropriate vehicle came up for auction. It was a 5 Ton Truck Tractor built by BMP. This vehicle has a rebuilt Cummins 6 cylinder turbocharged engine with less than 100 hours. It has an automatic transmission, power steering, air brakes, automatic inflation system on the tires and a body, like new. The auction opened on 12/30 and closed on 1/02. Short fused, it required immediate action and commitment so Larry Bissonnette and Stephen agreed to purchase this vehicle and offer it as a donation to Gamewardens.I have confirmed with Heinz / National and their Treasurer Steve Watson that we can set up aPlank Owner account devoted to providing for the needs of the truck.To my knowledge, this has been done. The 5 Ton Tractor Truck now belongs to the Gamewardens Association and the NW Chapter is now the on permanent loan from national to the NW Chapter, to use. It is the NW Chapter also to maintain and keep in good repair as well.
- To Become a “Plank Owner”Send Your Donation Check to: Gamewardens Association- NW ChapterPO Box 970
Sumner, Wa. 98390
If your make a donation of $50 or more, your Name will be inscribed and placed upon the Plank Plate. The Plank Plate will be mounted in an appropriate location on the truck.
- All donations, regardless of size, will receive a Plank Owner Certificate commemorating your contribution.We will have a complete list of all those who have made donation at the reunion along with the Plank Plate. We will continue donations to the Plank Owner Fund through the end of the year. Additional names will be added after the reunion. Thank you in advance for your support.
Special Note : There are times when words simply do not do justice in thanking the efforts that our men, who take upon their selves to support our organization. This is one of those times Rats. Both Stephen and Larry have been stalwart supporters and players in our Gamewardens Association for many years. Speaking on behalf of the association we know the care and dedication they have given all of us. Stephen & Larry, please accept the associations best wishes for your selfless gifts..this being a big one of many.
- Dave Perry / Al Johnson along with several others worked on the small trailer to add a small deck onto the front of the frame. Jerry Patterson has graciously gifted a portable generator and other small machines / welders that we will greatly benefit from in producing parts.
- Al Johnson drove over from Idaho. Al brought the J-Boat a new canopy top that he worked from a roll of canvases materials from my friend Tim Southerland. Tim bought out Uniflite after it burned down in 1979. This roll is left over from a project he had in the early 80’s. Al now is sizing up the operations boat for a better fitting new top.
- Al Stevens spoke for a few minutes about the need to take better care of our flag poles. He had found some of them had been cross threaded because the guys did not have the right pieces matched up. Spending several hours at his home with a small file repairing the threads as best he could. He will come up with color code to keep the bottoms and the tops together.
- Stephen Morrison brought us all up to date with the MK18 and M60 purchase. It appears we will most likely be getting the MK 18 and it will open / close, feed the belt of 40MM but most likely will not do the thump of gas firing. Some of you may know Larry Johnson. Larry has been collecting firearms for some time and has an M60 that is semi-Automatic which he has offered for our use before. You may recall that he had his M2 50 cal on the J-boat at the Auburn parade this past Veterans Day. It’s very likely he will permit us of the guns again.
- Business Meeting, passed out the old minutes and they were accepted. We then had our new Treasurer Jerry Popovice pass out his Treasurers Report. His report was also voted and accepted. -This is important in that much had taken place since the changing out of our presidents and board January 1st. Our Bank account moved from Navy Credit to BECU Credit because it is much more convenient, having satellite banking everywhere in the state. Jerry has also purchased some software ( Quick Books) for us to support his /our efforts as an organization to track and maintain our treasury and gift giving better. BZ Jerry for thinking of it and the purchase as well. His report is also attached. -We discussed our upcoming reunion as well, a draft of our Reunion Schedule is attached as well. We will need volunteers to support the boat ops, bus as well as the other functions such as the memorial and dinner events. A list of needs will be drawn up as soon as we finalize the Reunion Agenda. -Larry Bissonnette has graciously volunteered to work store issues with national stores, Jack Fugate. Jack took over from Larry as our National Storekeeper just a few months ago. Thank You guys for wanting to work together again for the reunions success. I’m looking forward to seeing all the goodies you’ll have in one spot…. J Stores will also need some support off and on during the reunion, so those who may want to help, contact Larry or Jack. -Both boats will be taking part in the reunion. The J-boat will depart to Veterans Memorial Museum on Friday about 10 AM. The museum is celebrating the 50th year of the war with a memorial of their own with the traveling wall. The boat will be accompanied with a story board that I have made up for Gamewardens. Hopefully we will find a few more of our shipmates that might be in attendance that day. I realize that we still have some burnt feelings toward some of those who lord over the museum, but we need to look past their misconceptions of us and remember that we are bigger than that. We’ll continue to perform our missions and support where possible…it’s not about the museum but about our dignity. Enough said. -We spoke about budgets as well. Brower, Sumrall, Morrison, Popovice and others as needed will make the effort to drive this out. We need to have an Operations Budget for the Nest, a Maintenance Budget for the PBR & Truck ( mostly Consumables ) along with a Boat /Truck Operations Budget. In doing so we will get a handle on what the costs will be for the years effort.
- Special Thanks to Steve Sumrall for making an excellent pot of Chili and Don Dennis and others for the cookies & corn bread.
- It was also very gratifying to hear my shipmates sing Happy Birthday For my 65th B-Day. Knowing I will retire from the Boeing Company…. tee tee, it makes retirement all that much easier. Special thanks also to my wife Diane for the PBR cake. I really enjoyed my birthday weekend with shipmates at the nest and loved ones at home. Thanks to All.
- One more item….We as an organization would be remiss not to thank our leadership in the NW Chapter for all their hard every day work to insure we …you and I… have the best they can muster for us as a families. It takes work, more work and more… than they have at times. But, it is with the strong bonds of our past and the emotions of the lives that help give that touch that supports our needs. Captain Stephen Morrison had been our President for two terms and we would be remiss not to tell him how much he had meant to us. Some may know that poor Stephen has had an unprecedented myriad of problems around his e-mail. To help him we purchased him a new Microsoft Surface Computer. Thank you Stephen for all the hours and effort in making our NW Chapter the best of the best Navy Associations to be with. Bravo Zulu ( well done ) and if it breaks, I’m giving you the same advice I gave my wife for hers at Christmas…it’s yours…don’t call me.
Attached are pictures from the day, compliments of Steve Sumrall. Preliminary copy of the Reunion Schedule is attached
I’m Sorry Billy but we’ll have to share with the others….
Yes, it’s a shame ….No milk buddy but I think there is a warm beer somewhere
It’s nice when your best friends show up just for cake….thanks guys for the memories
Thank You Stephen…. from your shipmates of the NW Chapter